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CBS Evening News With Katie Couric

CBS News News/Business. Katie Couric. The latest world and national news. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Couric 13, U.s. 8, Cbs 5, China 4, Katie 4, Jason 4, Florida 3, Afghanistan 3, America 3, Sanjay 3, Somalia 3, Steve Hartman 3, Bob Orr 2, Jim Axelrod 2, Tyler 2, Dr. Sanjay Gupta 2, New York 2, Cbs News 2, The N.f.l. 2, Susan Koeppen 2,
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  CBS    CBS Evening News With Katie Couric    CBS News  News/Business. Katie Couric. The  
   latest world and national news. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 23, 2009
    7:00 - 7:30pm EST  

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>> couric: tonight, the president under pressure, he wrestles with everything from the future of afghanistan to job creation. also tonight, the largest recall ever of baby cribs. more than two million drop-side cribs, the kind blamed over the past decade for dozens of infant deaths. thousands of homes left unlivable by defective dry wall. while u.s. officials blame china, cbs news finds there may be problems with american wall board as well. and he may just have the easiest job in the country. "why would someone pay you to do this?" steve hartman's "assignment america." captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: and good evening, everyone. we begin tonight with a story sure to affect millions of american families: the biggest recall of baby cribs in u.s.
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history. more than two million cribs with drop-downsides made by the kay canadian company stork craft. the consumer product safety commission says the defect in these cribs is linked to four deaths and over the past decade this type of crib has been blamed for dozens of deaths. our the "early show" consumer reporter susan koeppen has details. >> reporter: michelle it witte thought her son tyler was safely tucked into his crib but when she went back to check on him... >> i immediately fell to my knees and started screaming. >> reporter: the crib she considered to be tyler's safe haven had turned out to be a death trap. he has been sleeping in a crib with the drop-down side. somehow his head got stuck in a gap between the side rail and head board. >> to see the horrific sight of him strangled between the head board and side rail of his crib was just horrifying to me. >> reporter: according to the consumer product safety commission, there have been
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dozens of deaths over the past decade involving drop-side cribs made by different manufacturers. the federal government has recalled nearly five million cribs in the past two years, the vast majority of them cribs with dropped sides. tomorrow's recall involves multiple models of drop-side cribs made by stork craft from january, 1993, to october, 2009. 147,000 of them with the fisher price logo. malfunctioning plastic hardware is to blame. parents are being told to stop using the cribs immediately and go to the company's web site storkcraft.com, to receive a repair kit. of the 500,000 full-sized cribs sold in the u.s. last year, 100,000 of them had drop sides. parents like the convenience, being able to put the baby in the crib with the side down. and there have been deaths with this crib? >> there have been deaths with this crib and this company is out of business and parents should not use a simplicity crib. >> reporter: in 2007, the
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c.p.s.c. began recalling two million of these simplicity drop side cribs because they posed a strangulation hazard. the. >> the hardware was plastic so the drop side came out and the child was wedged between the mattress and this drop side and strangled. >> we can not have a crib that takes the lives of an infant out there on the market for unknowing consumers. >> reporter: now even the crib industry says cribs with drop-downsides no longer meet their industry safety standards and the c.p.s.c. is currently working on tougher federal regulations for all cribs. katie? >> couric: susan koeppen, really terrifying, thank you very much for that report. for more about the crib recall, you can go to cbsnews.com and tune in to the "early show" tomorrow morning. to politics now, is the honeymoon over? though president obama has been in office less than a year, many americans are growing disenchanted with his handling of the enormous problems he and the country are facing. from unemployment to health care
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to afghanistan. his poll numbers are sliding and at least one poll, gallup, shows his job approval rating has fallen for the first time below 50%. chip reid is at the white house tonight. chip, are there signs of strain apparent at 1600 pennsylvania avenue these days? >> there sure are, katie. the president is getting battered on everything from health care to the economy to foreign policy. some polls show americans are increasingly questioning his credibility. it's a speech the president has given over and over. >> our economy's growing again for the first time in more than a year. >> reporter: emphasizing the good news and promising to fix the bad. >> i will not rest until businesses are investing again and businesses are hiring again. and people have work again. >> reporter: but with unemployment over 10% and expected to rise for months to come, he offered no new ideas. he says next week's white house jobs summit will break new ground, but critics are already dismissing the summit as a
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gimmick. to make matters worse, the american people are increasingly questioning the president's credibility. he says the stimulus has saved or created 640,000 jobs, but only 7% of americans believe it has created any. and he's repeatedly promised health care reform will not increase the deficit, but a mere 19% believe him. >> the more he talks about these hard issues, the less people are buying it. >> reporter: dickerson says for many americans there's a basic disconnect. a president who promises to trim the budget but only seems to want to spend and spend. >> people want something to be done about the deficit and here he's talking about sending a trillion more dollars. >> reporter: all this comes as the so-called debt bomb is getting ready to explode. the national debt is $12 trillion, simply paying the interest on the debt is expected to soar to $700 billion by 2019. the president is also stuffing a credibility gap on foreign policy. he called his eight day asia trip a job strategy but came
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home with little to show for it. highly respected foreign policy analyst leslie gelb calls the trip amateur hour for failing to get deals locked in before the president left home. on afghanistan tonight, the president holds his ninth meeting with his war council, a full month after dick cheney accused him of dithering over the decision and the president says it's still several weeks away are you concerned that americans are increasingly looking at this president as simply indecisive and uncertain? it's a top that i can dominated today's white house briefing. >> i think the american people want the president to take time to get this decision right. >> reporter: but while the president is taking that time, some democratic opponents of a troop surge are stealing the spotlight. they're calling for a war tax to pay for additional troops. katie? >> couric: chip reid at the white house tonight. thank you. turning to sports now, under growing pressure from the government, the n.f.l. is making a major change in its play book to better protect players from long-term brain injuries. at least one player in half of
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all n.f.l. games suffers a concussion. and now national correspondent jim axelrod tells us the league is changing the way it deals with the problem. >> it could end up being at least a third concussion pittsburgh steelers superbowl champion quarter back ben roethlisberger has sustained playing professional football. >> here's a guy that has had head injuries in the past and they're being very careful with him. >> reporter: the n.f.l. is now being careful as well with all its players from superstars like brian west brook to everyone else. new rules will soon require each team to seek an opinion from outside specialists in every head injury case. as the commissioner told a t.v. audience last night. >> as we learn more and more, we want to give our players the best medical cal advice and i think this is the chance for us to expand that and bring more people into the circumstance toll make sure we're making the best decisions for our players in the long term. >> reporter: concussions occur during collisions, brain tissue is jarred into contact with the
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skull, disrupting neuroimpulses. >> it takes a while, from a few seconds to sometimes weeks, for that to settle back down so that it's conducting impulses in a normal fashion. >> reporter: when to allow a player back on the field has long been the n dispute. for years, team doctors made the call, pointing to data that one concussion did not make another concussion or future brain disorders more likely. but a recent league-sponsored study showed former players 19 times more likely to suffer from alzheimer's and other problems. the league is now agreeing to outside oversight. >> i think a step up. i think it's a better way to continue to protect the players. and i think you'll see more to come. >> reporter: the teams will have to follow the opinions of the independent specialist, a spokesman for the n.f.l. tells cbs news "medical decisions always override competitive decisions." so for the first time players will have doctors who won't be working for the teams. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york.
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>> couric: dr. sanjay gupta is cnn's chief medical correspondent, a cbs news contributor and particularly helpful tonight, a neurosurgeon. sanjay, the n.f.l. isn't the only place these concussions occurment over a million kids play high school football not to mention college players. how big a problem is this for them? >> well, you know, the vast majority of them don't go on to be professional football players so if they have one or two concussions during a high school career, it's probably not going to be that big a deal. but there are a couple important points here. we know concussions get exponentially worse each one after the other. so one concussion bad, two concussions much worse. and we also know, i think, a bigger issue within communities is that the diagnosis of concussion is sometimes hard to come by. for example, only one in ten people who have a condition cushion were actually knocked out, the vast majority weren't. getting that right diagnosis and for doctors or specialists figuring out what best to do with that player, that's the challenge. >> couric: sanjay, this relatively short window for football players can have, as we heard, life long ramifications. what do you think about that
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study jim mentioned that shows a significant association with concussions and dementia later in life? how valid is that scientifically? >> well, it's a pretty good study and it was published in a good journal. but this is a controversial area, no question. at the heart of this, katie, it's very hard to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. now there are studies being done on the brains of former n.f.l. players looking at advanced dementia. what they show is three times the rate of depression, five times the rate of dementia in people who have three concussions or more, but again, a controversial area. >> couric: dr. sanjay gupta, sanjay, thanks very much for your insight tonight. coming up next here on the "cbs evening news," defective dry wall. u.s. officials blame it on chinese imports, but a cbs news investigation found there may be problems with american dry wall as well.
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>> couric: we have an update tonight on a story our investigative unit first reported back in the spring: americans forced out of their homes by defective, rotting dry wall. today the consumer product safety commission said it has found what it calls a strong association between some chinese-made dry wall and the corrosion of pipes and wires. but our chief investigative correspondent armen keteyian tells us there may also be problems with american-made dry wall. >> reporter: this is the damage being blamed on defective dry wall: corroded copper coils,
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electrical wires eaten away, a noxious odor fouling the air. health complaints ranging from itchy eyes to headaches and bloody noses to breathing problems. >> if it's doing this to our house, it has to have some effect on our bodies. >> reporter: thousands of homeowners in 32 states have been affected. >> this is devastating. people are losing their homes, they're being foreclosed upon, they're declaring bankruptcy. >> reporter: it's believed bad dry wall produces corrosive sulfur gases. why remains unclear. but lawmakers and federal authorities have left little doubt who's to blame. >> chinese dry wall. >> the chinese dry wall. >> china. >> c-h-i-n-a. >> reporter: but a cbs news investigation has found problems with defective dry wall may reach well beyond china and include products made in the u.s.a. the consumer product safety commission has received nearly 2,100 complaints to date. the agency recently released details on 44 of them under the heading "imported dry wall."
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but we discovered that ten of the cases-- nearly a quarter-- actually involved dry wall made in the u.s. inez tenenbaum is the head of the c.p.s.c . what does that say to you? >> it says we need to be pro-active in looking at all dry wall. we are not going to ignore a problem if it's made in america. >> reporter: in fact, cbs news found a number of families that had to abandon homes built, they claim, with american-made dry wall. in florida. >> it's very difficult. >> reporter: in georgia. >> it has been quite nerve-wracking, quite disturbing. >> reporter: and here in south dakota where this man says his electrical wiring went haywire, his wife overcome by fumes. >> my wife comes in inside and swells up in minutes. >> reporter: three separate lawsuits have been filed against american manufacturers, one against national gypsum, two others against georgia pacific, including one by jill and michael swidler who claim their
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home, built in 2006, has been destroyed. >> we don't have chinese dry wall. it was made in the united states. >> reporter: traditionally, dry wall was made from the white mineral gypsum. in its four form, gypsum emits no gas or odor. bad dry wall, however, is darker. we wanted to compare american and chinese dry wall so we purchased random samples of new american-made dry wall in six u.s. cities and new chinese-made dry wall in china. we also collected samples of dry wall from five damaged homes in the u.s. and had everything sent to the university of florida to be tested by a team of researchers led by professor tim townsend, a scientist and leading expert on the effects of dry wall on the environment. his team spent five months running a multitude of tests on the samples we provided by. the results were revealing. >> it's not as black-and-white as saying the chinese dry wall is bad and all the dry wall is good. >> reporter: as expected, the
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contaminated chinese samples gave you off high levels of sulr gaza strips. surprisingly, all but one u.s. sample emitted sulfur gases as well. not as levels as high as the chinese product but unexpected. even more surprising... >> there were some american products we tested that had higher emissions than some of these new chinese products that we tested. >> reporter: nancy spurlock, communications director for national gypsum says all their testing found no problems with their product. >> reporter: domestic wall board including national gypsum is not a problem. >> reporter: but clearly there are sulfur gases in your product. >> there are sulfur gases everywhere and there's sulfur gases in water, sulfur gases in air, but to the extent that they will corrode copper, no. >> reporter: as for georgia pacific, the company declined an on-camera request for an interview but a company spokesman said "we take customer complaints seriously and stand behind the quality of our products." yet townsend remains concerned. >> the results tell me that we
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shouldn't be focused solely on defective chinese dry wall. we need to be backing up and looking at the product of dry wall itself. >> reporter: a product in a problem that appears to be coming closer and closer to home armen keteyian, cbs news, new york.
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>> couric: federal prosecutors say terrorists are being recruited in minnesota to fight overseas.
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justice correspondent bob orr reports eight more people were charged today in an ongoing investigation. >> reporter: the charges are aimed at a terror recruitment ring centered in this somali community in minneapolis. up to two dozen young men, many who attended this mosque, have left their homes over the past two years to fight with the al qaeda linked terror group al shabab in somalia. today the u.s. justice department charged eight of them with providing materiel support to terrorists and conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons outside the united states. the government says the men, all with somali family ties, traveled from minneapolis to somalia where they trained in the use of small arms, machine guns, rocket rocket-propelled gs and military-style tactics. one of the suspects is in custody in the netherlands. the other seven are still overseas and now fugitives. >> the message that they should hear loud and clear is that we will seek you out and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. >> reporter: six more of the men who have traveled to somalia
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are said to have died in the ongoing civil war there. one of them shirwa ahmed, was killed in this attack in october, 2008, the first known american suicide bomber. while the evidence suggests the men are only interested in fighting overseas, their case is the latest example of americans becoming radicalized here at home. now the f.b.i. is looking for any sign that they may also present a domestic threat. bob orr, cbs news, washington. >> couric: across the potomac today, a funeral for one of the 13 people killed in the fort hood massacre. a steady rain fell as the casket carrying lieutenant colonel jaunita warman arrived at arlington national cemetery. she was 55, a physician's assistant preparing to deploy to iraq when she was gunned down, allegedly by an army psychiatrist. colonel warman leaves a hus, two daughters and six grandchildren.
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>> couric: and finally tonight, if you're having trouble finding a job, you might consider inventing one. the man you're about to meet did just that, and caught the eye of our steve hartman, who invented
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a job called "assignment america." >> reporter: 27-year-old jason sadler of jacksonville, florida, isn't getting dressed for work. getting dressed is his work. all he has to do is put on a t-shirt every morning and he's done. his whole job, right there, done. >> i wear t-shirts for a living. >> and, yes, he already knows what you're thinking. "what? why would someone pay you to do this?" >> reporter: lots of people pay him to do this. people with web sites, this one's a blogger, here's a p.r. company. they want jason to wear their logo. he's not a model, he's not famous. some days he doesn't leave the house and yet... what do you make every year wearing t-shirts? >> this year i made $84,794 just by putting on a t-shirt everyday >> reporter: new. >> yup. >> reporter: actually, jason says there's a little more to it than just putting on a shirt. he also takes a picture of himself in the shirt, walks all the way over to his couch-- that's the most physical part--
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sits down, loads the pictures on to his computer, e-mails it to friend and posts it on the internet. >> everyday i get paid to wear a t-shirt and promote that company via social media. >> reporter: after lunch he hosts a half hour video chat on his web site "iwearyour "iwearyourshoeurt.com." here even people even less to do can talk about his shirt. >> it's a credit union for people under 25. >> reporter: jason estimates 25,000 people see him somewhere on the internet wearing his t-shirts and that's why these businesses say he's worth it. he started the company on new year's day, charged $-r 1 and everyday added another dollar to the price. >> may 1 started down here. >> reporter: by may he was charging over a hundred bucks a day. by the end of summer over $200 and next month he'll be making just about as much as a family physician. >> december 31 here. >> reporter: 365 shirts. >> reporter: 365 different companies and shirts. >> reporter: you've already sold this idea next year? >> at double the price and 255
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days have been sold. the next available day is august 1. >> reporter: if all goes according to plan, on new year's eve, 2010, jason will make $730 for putting on a t-shirt. and by 2011, he'll be making even more-- by working even less. so your dream is to not wear shirts but hire other people to wear shirts for you. >> and then i get paid for them to wear shirts. >> reporter: don't put it past him. he's already hired one guy to do just that. and starting next year, he's also has an underwear sponsor. >> couric: pretty creative guy. >> reporter: i won't cover that update. >> couric: steve hartman, steve, thank you. that's the "cbs evening news" for to want, i'm katie couric. thanks for watching. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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